The following is a brief list of links with information on the wealth and culture of various countries. These websites can be a good reference for economic or financial analysis (particularly for international business). Please feel free to add more resources to share with our readers.
M&A Professionals Expect To Perform More Deals In 2013, According To KPMG Survey
Favorable Dynamics to Drive Technology, Financial Services and Healthcare Middle-market Deal Activity in 2013
NEW YORK, March 6, 2013, According to a survey conducted by KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm, merger and acquisitions (M&A), private equity and tax professionals from the technology, financial services and healthcare sectors, among others, expect an increase in their companies’ or clients’ deal activity in 2013 compared to 2012. Of the more than 400 survey respondents, 60 percent said that they would do more deals this year than last year.
The simpler financing terms associated with smaller deals, as compared to both large transactions and the megadeals, will drive middle-market M&A activity in the balance of 2013, according to 24 percent of the poll population. However, 49 percent of respondents felt that collectively, simpler financing terms, fewer risks and integration challenges, as well as the less complexity of due diligence that’s needed for deals valued under $250 million, will serve as the catalyst for a deal market dominated by middle-market activity in 2013.
In fact, 22 percent of survey respondents indicated that in 2013 thus far, the deal market is already experiencing a high volume of middle-market activity; they also acknowledged favorable credit terms (11 percent) and elevated levels of cash on corporate balance sheets (eight percent) as driving the recent deals in the marketplace. Corporate buyers have the advantage in the M&A space over private equity buyers (six percent) halfway through the first quarter of 2013.
“The underlying fundamentals in the deal market are improving, with the combination of a stabilizing U.S. economy, favorable credit terms, open debt markets, and high cash balances paving the way for an increase in M&A volume this year,” said Dan Tiemann , Americas lead for KPMG’s Transactions & Restructuring practice. “As a result, companies may be highly motivated to execute transactions that drive their growth agendas, including deals that allow for business transformation and optimize new operating models.”
When asked what effects new regulations might have on their ability to do deals in 2013, 21 percent of the poll population stated that they will cause integration challenges during the M&A process and in post-deal phases for their companies and clients. Eighteen percent cited that new regulations have temporarily delayed their ability to do deals, followed by seven percent who have delayed M&A activity indefinitely; however, another seven percent cited they will actively pursue deals because of new regulation.
Executives plan to selectively invest in emerging markets outside of the U.S., with China / Asia Pacific cited as the leading target region (20 percent), followed by Brazil / Latin America (17 percent), Western Europe (10 percent), India (four percent), Russia (two percent) and Eastern Europe (two percent). Forty percent of the poll respondents indicated they do not plan on investing in any of these emerging markets in 2013, congruent with KPMG’s M&A Outlook Survey 2013 conducted in November 2012 where respondents stated the vast majority of deal activity would take place in North America.
The breakdown of respondents includes M&A professionals in the following sectors: technology (17 percent); financial services (17 percent); healthcare (14 percent); diversified industrials (nine percent); energy (eight percent); and consumer markets (seven percent).
About KPMG LLP
KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (www.kpmg.com/us), is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s member firms have 152,000 professionals, including more than 8,600 partners, in 156 countries.
J.D. Power and LMC Automotive Report: Strong New-Vehicle Sales in February Drives Robust Selling Rate
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Feb. 22, 2013, The new-vehicle retail selling rate in February remains above 12 million units—stronger than it was a year ago—as the auto industry recovery continues, according to a monthly sales forecast developed by J.D. Power and Associates’ Power Information Network® (PIN) and LMC Automotive.
Retail Light-Vehicle Sales
February new-vehicle retail sales are expected to come in at 931,100 vehicles, which represents a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 12.1 million units, a decline from the robust 13.1 million SAAR in January, but stronger than the 11.7 million SAAR in February 2012. Retail transactions are the most accurate measurement of true underlying consumer demand for new vehicles.
“All signs of the industry’s health are positive right now,” said John Humphrey , senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Average transaction prices are up, incentives are stable, leasing is at a healthy level and newly redesigned models continue to make an impact on the marketplace.”
“Demand is increasing, but the automakers deserve credit for doing a much better job of keeping alignment of production and demand.” said Humphrey. “This has led to new-vehicle transaction prices that are averaging nearly $1,000 more in February than the same period in 2012 while incentives have remained relatively flat year over year.”
Total Light-Vehicle Sales
Total light-vehicle sales in February 2013 are projected to reach 1,176,200 units, a seven percent increase from February 2012 and the fourth consecutive month with the selling rate at or above 15.2 million units. Fleet share is expected to remain at the January level of 21 percent.
J.D. Power and LMC Automotive U.S. Sales and SAAR Comparisons
New-Vehicle Retail Sales
(9% higher than February 2012)
Total Vehicle Sales
(7% higher than February 2012)
12.1 million units
13.1 million units
11.7 million units
15.2 million units
15.2 million units
14.4 million units
1Figures cited for February 2013 are forecasted based on the first 14 selling days of the month.
2The percentage change is adjusted based on the number of selling days in the month (24 days in February 2013 vs. 25 days in February 2012).
The outlook for 2013 continues to improve, as the selling pace remains robust. In fact, LMC Automotive is increasing its 2013 U.S. forecast for total light-vehicle sales to 15.3 million units from 15.1 million units. The increase is split between fleet and retail light-vehicle sales, with the outlook for retail increasing to 12.5 million units from 12.4 million units.
“The current fundamentals that are driving strong vehicle sales—pent-up vehicle demand and a stable, recovering economy—are expected to get a boost by additional positive factors this year,” said Jeff Schuster , senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive. “An expected recovery in the housing market, and 50 percent more new-model launches combined with an increase in lease maturities should keep light-vehicle sales climbing throughout the year.”
North American Production
North American light-vehicle production in January 2013 finished at more than 1.3 million units, seven percent higher than in January 2012. Production in Mexico has increased by nearly 21 percent from January 2012 on higher General Motors, Ford, and Volkswagen volumes related to newer launches. U.S. vehicle production has grown by nine percent from January 2012, while Canadian production has declined by 13 percent during the same period.
Vehicle inventory levels in early February increase to a 74-day supply, compared with 59 days in January. A higher level is typical in February. However, at the current selling rate, inventory levels are expected to rebalance within the next month or two. Overall, there are nearly 3.1 million units currently available on dealer lots or in transit—an increase of approximately 600,000 units from February 2012.
LMC Automotive’s forecast for North American production remains at 15.9 million units for this year, a three percent increase from 2012.
“The current inventory situation and production plan for 2013 suggests that there is enough volume to support the expected increased level of demand, and there remains little risk for an overbuild environment,” said Schuster.
About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.
About The McGraw-Hill Companies
The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), a financial intelligence and education company, signed an agreement to sell its McGraw-Hill Education business to investment funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC in November 2012. Following the sale closing, expected in early 2013, the Company will be renamed McGraw Hill Financial (subject to shareholder approval) and will be a powerhouse in benchmarks, content and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. The Company’s leading brands will include: Standard & Poor’s, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, Crisil, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company will have approximately 17,000 employees in more than 30 countries. Additional information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com.
About LMC Automotive
LMC Automotive, formerly J.D. Power Automotive Forecasting, is the premier supplier of automotive forecasts and intelligence to an extensive client base of automotive manufacturer, component supplier, logistics and distribution companies, as well as financial and government institutions around the world. LMC’s global forecasting services encompass automotive sales, production and powertrain expertise, as well as advisory capability. LMC Automotive has offices in the United States, the UK, Germany, China and Thailand and is part of the Oxford, UK-based LMC group, the global leader in economic and business consultancy for the agribusiness sector. For more information please visit www.lmc-auto.com.
No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates or LMC Automotive. www.jdpower.com/corporate www.lmc-auto.com
SOURCE: J.D. Power and Associates
France Tops U.S. in Placing Women on Corporate Boards
WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2013, France has overtaken the United States’ lead role as the country with the highest percentage of women directors among the 200 largest companies in the world, according to the latest Corporate Women Directors International study of women directors. Propelled by quota legislation passed in 2010, a quarter of directors (25.1%) in France are now women, while the percentage in the U.S. peaked at 20.9%.
“France has raised the bar for other countries interested in opening up corporate board rooms to women,” said Irene Natividad , chair of the Washington-based international research group CWDI. “The dramatic increase in the number of women now serving on the boards of French companies shows that it is possible to do this at a quicker pace as long as there’s a plan to do so.” Among the Fortune Global 200 companies, the average percentage of women directors came to only 15%.
An impetus behind the increases in France and other European countries is through government quotas, which require 30-40% of board seats to be allocated for women. Norway, which paved the way by successfully reaching its 40% mandate for women on boards in 2008, has now been joined by Spain, the Netherlands, Iceland, Italy, and Belgium. Outside of Europe, Malaysia has a quota which will be implemented by 2016. With10 other countries with quotas for women on the boards of government-owned companies, there are now 18 countries using this strategy, with the United Arab Emirates the latest to require companies to have women on their boards.
The other propellant that led to more women board directors this year is the inclusion of gender or board diversity in the corporate governance code in several European countries – an initiative that has now spilled over to other continents. A very popular strategy for countries wanting to avoid quotas, there are now 17 countries who have adopted this initiative. Finland led this drive resulting in 22% of board seats now held by women, without a quota in place.
Among the Fortune Global 200 companies covered in the 2013 CWDI Report, those companies based in countries with quotas had a higher percentage of women directors (18.9%) than the average representation of women in peer companies at 15%. The three countries with the largest increases in the percentage of women directors since 2004, when CWDI first tracked women directors in the Fortune Global 200, all have quota laws – France (7.2% to 25.1%), Spain (1.9% to 12.7%), and Italy (1.8% to 9.3%).
Similarly, those companies which made it to the Fortune listing, which are based in countries with gender diversity recommendations for corporate boards also had a higher percentage of women directors at 19.9% than those companies in countries without such a directive in their corporate governance code.
“Quotas work,” said Natividad. “Inserting gender diversity into corporate governance codes works. What doesn’t work is assuming that women will rise to board seats ‘naturally’, and therefore do nothing.” The three countries with the lowest percentage increases in women-held board seats are the United States, China and Japan and all three countries combined have the largest cluster of companies among the 200 largest in the world at 104. None of these countries have concerted proactive strategies to improve the numbers of women directors in their respective countries. Should they do so, the percentage of women directors among the Fortune listing would rise significantly.
CWDI’s Top Ten list of best performing companies is dominated by US and French companies and has mushroomed to 26 companies (due to ties), again due to measures undertaken by countries to speed up the number of women directors. A U.S. company, Procter and Gamble leads the Top Ten with 45% of its Board made up of women.
Corporate Women Directors International (CWDI) promotes the increased participation of women in corporate boards globally, fosters national and international networks to link women directors, and seeks to hone directors’ skills in corporate governance. To provide baseline information from which women’s progress on corporate boards can be measured, CWDI has conducted research internationally since 1996 to identify women corporate board members in Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Spain, and the United States, as well as regional and global reports covering top companies and their record on board diversity. CWDI has also issued industry-specific studies resulting in 21 reports in 17 years.
In addition, CWDI has held roundtables on corporate governance in several cities globally for women directors and executives. The most recent brought together business and government leaders convened with the World Bank in Washington, DC, to share board diversity initiatives from several countries. For more information about CWDI or its publications, please contact Corporate Women Directors’ Washington, D.C. headquarters at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE: Corporate Women Directors International
Women Business Owners Decidedly Optimistic About 2013
Web.com and NAWBO survey reveals the primary factors impacting women business owners
WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2013, A national survey of women business owners (WBOs) conducted by Web.com Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: WWWW) and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) found a pervasive sense of economic optimism, including a prediction by most WBOs (85 percent) that more women will become entrepreneurs in 2013 than in past years. WBOs also plan to invest more (38 percent) or the same (54 percent) in hiring this year than they did in 2012 – a positive sign for the economy.
2013, the Year of the Female Entrepreneur
The State of Women-Owned Businesses survey found that the large majority of WBOs were optimistic about their business’ overall performance (81 percent) for the year ahead. They were also optimistic, though slightly less so, about the broader economic outlook (74 percent) in 2013.
“The 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Survey reveals that even in these tough economic times, women entrepreneurs are optimistic about business opportunities for the year ahead,” said NAWBO President, Diane L. Tomb . “This survey informs us of the challenges and opportunities facing NAWBO members as well as women business owners in general. At NAWBO we will strive to address these issues on behalf of all women entrepreneurs.”
The survey also uncovered serious challenges facing WBOs, including the need to reach new customers. Web.com and NAWBO developed the survey to better understand the state of women entrepreneurship, including: women business owners’ (WBO) motivations for starting their businesses, what business challenges they face, what and how micro- and macroeconomic factors impact their businesses, what investment plans they have for the year ahead and what public policy issues are of greatest concern.
What Keeps Women Business Owners Up at Night?
With regard to public policy matters, the top four issues on the minds of WBOs are: the state of the economy (57 percent), health insurance cost and affordability (40 percent), business tax issues (36 percent), and access to a quality workforce (36 percent). Though two in five WBOs said that health insurance costs and affordability are important issues to them, many (71 percent) feel that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) will have no impact upon the way they do business.
Financing Options to Meet Business Capital Needs
More than three quarters (78 percent) of WBOs did not seek a new or extended line of credit in the past year. Of these 78 percent, more than half (68 percent) indicated they did not want additional credit in the first place, and the others (32 percent) did not think they could get credit if they tried. Most WBOs financed their businesses through credit cards (45 percent), business earnings (40 percent), or private sources such as personal savings or contributions from family or friends (37 percent).
Who Should Become an Entrepreneur?
Survey respondents assert that women start their own businesses for a variety of reasons, including: having a vision for a business idea or a passion for solving a specific industry problem, wanting control or a more flexible work-life balance, and being in the right place at the right time. When asked the biggest motivation for starting their business, the most common answer was that they were following their vision (28 percent), followed by finding an idea that allowed them to become an entrepreneur (21 percent). The survey found that the most important traits for running a successful business are to have a passion for an idea (1st), to have a vision to succeed long-term after the business is launched (2nd) and a willingness and attitude to fail before you succeed and to take risks (3rd).
Finding New Customers through Online Investments and Social Media Marketing
When asked what they see as their biggest challenge to running their business in 2013, nearly two in five (39 percent) of WBOs said that it was gaining new customers. To gain customers, nearly three quarters (73 percent) of WBOs plan to invest more in marketing in 2013. Specifically, they will invest in social media marketing (36 percent) and search engine optimization (SEO) (36 percent). This is not surprising, as nearly half (44 percent) predict that social media and SEO are the future of small business marketing. Conversely, WBOs anticipated that traditional outreach approaches, including print and direct mail (1.6 percent), online advertising (4.4 percent) and email marketing (6.2 percent), will have less impact on small business marketing in the future.
When considering what marketing tactics currently have the greatest impact on a business’ bottom line, more than half (52 percent) of respondents indicated that website design and maintenance was very important, followed by social media marketing and SEO (38 percent) and email marketing (25 percent). And WBOs indicated that LinkedIn (27 percent) is the most valuable social media platform to them, followed by Facebook (26 percent), YouTube (18 percent) and Twitter (17 percent).
“Women business owners are laser focused on reaching new customers, and their strategy for doing so is focused on improving their businesses’ online presence,” said Web.com Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer, Roseann Duran . “This is great news for time-strapped consumers, as they can expect to have an improved and more socially engaged online experience with many of their favorite businesses in 2013.”
The State of Women-Owned Businesses Survey Infographic
For full survey results and to view and share the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses infographic, visit www.web.com/community.
Monday, February 11 “Ask the Experts” Tweetchat
Join Web.com’s Roseann Duran and NAWBO’s Diane L. Tomb for the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses tweetchat (#wgbiz #WBOchat) today to further discuss the survey findings and the issues that face WBOs today.
The survey was conducted online within 552 NAWBO members between December 14, 2012 and January 4, 2013. For complete survey methodology, please contact Lab42 at email@example.com.
Web.com Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: WWWW) is a leading provider of online marketing for small businesses. Web.com meets the needs of small businesses anywhere along their lifecycle by offering a full range of online services and support, including domain name registration services, website design, logo design, search engine optimization, search engine marketing and local sales leads, email marketing, general contractor leads, franchise and homeowner association websites, shopping cart software, eCommerce website design and call center services. For more information on the company, please visit http://www.web.com.
Founded in 1975, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) is the unified voice of America’s more than 10 million women-owned businesses representing the fastest growing segment of the economy. NAWBO is the only dues-based organization representing the interests of all women entrepreneurs across all industries. NAWBO develops programs that help navigate women entrepreneurs thought the various stages of their business growth.
Note to Editors: Web.com is a registered trademark of Web.com Group, Inc.
Susan Datz Edelman
Web.com (Nasdaq: WWWW)
Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Public Policy and Public Relations
National Association of Women Business Owners